Disko Bay: Meeting the Inuit & Discovering the Unknown

Reykjavík, Iceland - Nuuk

Iceland, West Greenland
March-April
15 Nights

Choose Your Departure Date

Le Commandent Charcot in Ittoqqortoormiit
New for 2025
No Single Supplement
Reykjavík, Iceland - Nuuk
21/03/2025 to the 05/04/2025
15 Nights

Price from per person

£18,500
Le Commandent Charcot in Ittoqqortoormiit
New for 2025
No Single Supplement
Nuuk - Reykjavík, Iceland
17/04/2025 to the 02/05/2025
15 Nights

Price from per person

£18,500

Cruise Overview

This new icebreaker cruise for 2025 offers a rare opportunity to explore the Baffin Sea and Disko Bay in West Greenland early in the year when it is inaccessible to other expedition ships. Over a 16-day exploration, you'll voyage to the breathtaking Disko Bay, home to the most enormous icebergs in the northern hemisphere. Amidst unforgettable experiences and warm encounters within the exceptional confines of the ship, savour moments of intense emotion and unexpected discoveries.

In a historic journey for a ship, Le Commandant Charcot will navigate towards Baffin Bay and ice-covered villages that have been inaccessible throughout the winter. 

This expedition allows you to immerse yourself in the Greenlandic spring as you encounter remote communities along the coast, their villages still surrounded by the lingering ice floe. Following the Inuit community's rhythm, partake in moments of shared traditions centred around spring. Polar hikes, ice fishing, and dog sledging will allow you to get closer to the Inuit way of life in the untouched nature.

Disko Bay- Meeting the Inuit & Discovering the Unknown Map 1

Cruise Highlights

Cruise Highlights

  • Embark on an entirely new exploration along the southwestern coast of Greenland and Baffin Bay, an exclusive experience made possible by Le Commandant Charcot, the only ship capable of navigating this region during this time of the year.
  • Take the opportunity to uncover the extraordinary landscapes of these territories and engage in unique moments with the local Inuit communities.
  • Enjoy outings and shore visits with our team of outstanding naturalist guides.
  • Experience the exploration of the fragmented ice floe in Baffin Bay, the revelation of Inuit villages entangled in ice, and the awe-inspiring Disko Bay—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—known for its vast frozen and ice-covered icebergs.
  • Engage in an immersive and authentic encounter with two local Greenlandic communities during two timeless days, as these villages are exclusively accessible to Le Commandant Charcot this year.
  • Witness the potential wildlife sightings in the Far North, including polar bears, Arctic foxes, Ivory gulls, ringed seals, and various cetaceans such as belugas, narwhals, and bowhead whales.
  • Additionally, seize the opportunity to witness the mesmerising spectacle of the Northern Lights in Disko Bay.
  • This journey promises a unique and unparalleled experience in a region known for its pristine beauty and untouched wonders.
  • Engage in various brand-new activities such as kayaking, taking a polar plunge, hiking, dog sledding, snowshoeing, and ice fishing, ensuring a diverse and immersive experience.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Reykjavik in Iceland in the winter
Day 1

ReyjavÍk 

Nestled on the edge of an expansive bay in the western part of the country, Iceland's capital unfolds its charms. The "Pearl of Reykjavík," Perlan, stands as a museum situated atop 'Oskjuhlið hill, providing a sweeping vista of the verdant landscapes below. Not far away, a signpost guides you to the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church and the historic centre, inviting leisurely strolls along the vibrant Skólavördustígur and Laugavegur streets, adorned with charming boutiques. For a tranquil retreat just beyond the city, visitors can explore the Reykjanes peninsula and indulge in the renowned thermal lagoons of the Blue Lagoon.

Embarkation from 16:00 to 17:00

Departure at 18:00

Arctic luxury cruises on Charcot
Day 2

Sailing Towards Greenland

Indulge in extraordinary experiences while cruising onboard Le Commandant Charcot, the world's pioneering luxury polar exploration vessel and the first PC2-class polar cruise ship with the capability to navigate deep into the heart of ice-covered seas and oceans—areas that are typically inaccessible to conventional ships due to the heavy ice. Le Commandant Charcot is equipped with state-of-the-art oceanographic and scientific instruments carefully chosen by experts.

Immerse yourself in onboard lectures and engaging discussions with these specialists to delve deeper into the mysteries of the polar regions. Seize the opportunity to contribute to scientific research and join us in uncovering the yet-to-be-revealed secrets of these captivating destinations. Le Commandant Charcot provides a unique platform for exploration, scientific discovery, and unparalleled luxury in the remote and pristine landscapes of the polar regions.

le commandant charcot in the sunset
Day 3

King Frederick VI Coast

While navigating the King Frederick VI Coast, be prepared to encounter a mesmerising array of icebergs, each sculpted into unique shapes. The northern waters in this region are adorned with floating ice fragments, creating a surreal and dreamlike landscape. The snowy mountains, ice-clad fjords, and petite islands lining the Greenlandic coastline enhance the beauty of this exceptional cruise route.

Prins Christian Sund Greenland Ponant
Day 4

Prins Christian Sund

As you approach the Prins Christian Sund, a majestic steep-sided fjord meandering across approximately one hundred kilometres between Greenland's southeast and southwest, you will be amazed at the natural splendour. Surrender to the allure of the raw beauty found in these distinctive landscapes, featuring rugged cliffs and cascading waterfalls nourished by the expansive ice sheet, gracefully descending into the frigid waters. This region is a favoured spot for bearded seals basking on floating ice, absorbing the warmth of the sunshine.

Aappilattoq in Southern greenland
Day 4

Aappilattoq (Augpilatok)

Nestled in a mountainous region unreachable by road, Aappilattoq (Augpilatok) is a quaint Inuit village with approximately a hundred residents. Its Greenlandic name translates to "sea anemone." Situated at the southern tip of Greenland, the village boasts picturesque and vibrant houses along the breathtaking Prince Christian Sound. Stretching around one hundred kilometres, this sound weaves through stunning landscapes, including grand glaciers, rugged peaks, and rocky cliffs adorned with waterfalls fed by the expansive ice sheet. Uninhabited in the 19th century, the village was established in the 1920s, and its primary activities centre around hunting, fishing, and livestock farming.

Nanortalik PONANT
Day 5

Nanortalik

Within the Greenlandic municipality of Kujalleq, you'll uncover the Inuit village of Nanortalik. Situated just a few hundred kilometres from the southernmost tip of Greenland, it is one of the island's southernmost locales.

The primary economic activity for its residents is fishing, offering you the opportunity to share memorable moments with the local community. As a blanket of snow still graces the landscapes, partake in winter activities and delve into the rich tapestry of Inuit traditions.

Narsaq Fjord
Day 6

Narsaq Fjord

Explore the charm of Narsaq. The breathtaking beauty of the encircling blue icebergs, colossal masses of ice displaying various shapes and ever-changing hues, will captivate your senses. Nestled amidst verdant mountains, this petite town embodies Greenland's quintessence and is nestled amid a splendid natural panorama. The multi-hued facades of houses and the glaciers, showcasing an array of blue shades, create a magical ambience that invites awe and wonder.

Baffin Bay icebergs
Days 7-9

Baffin Bay Exploration

Navigate the frigid waters of Baffin Bay, delving into the heart of the dispersed sea floe. Enchanting icebergs, sculpted into dreamlike forms, will mesmerise you as your vessel ventures into the icy expanse of the Far North. In this monochromatic world of whites, keen observation may reward you with a sighting of the majestic ruler of this realm—the polar bear. Amidst the heart of the ice, this captivating creature enhances your chances of a memorable encounter. The contrasting light imparts a radiant sparkle to the ice floe accompanying your exploration of Baffin Bay, leaving indelible imprints of unforgettable moments.

Disko Bay Greenland Ponant
Days 10-11

Disko Bay

Uncover the wonders of Disko Bay, adorned with myriad icebergs sculpted by the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the deck of your ship, marvel at the majestic ballet of these colossal ice giants gracefully drifting across the dark waters. This locale is a natural marvel in Greenland and is renowned as a prime vantage point for observing the numerous humpback whales inhabiting the region. Encounter the untamed fauna and the breathtaking landscapes within this extraordinary and delicate natural realm of pure wonder.

Inuit dog sledding in greenland
Days 12-13

Qeqertarsuaq

Nestled on the southern coast of Disko Island, Qeqertarsuaq stands as one of the two petite villages in this expanse comparable in size to Corsica. Renowned for its seclusion, it has served as an observation hub for naturalists since the early days of polar exploration, gaining significance with the establishment the Arctic Centre research facility in 1906.

Embark on a zodiac cruise to delve into the natural wonders of Greenland, encountering its diverse wildlife, including the majestic humpback whale. Marvel at the unfolding basaltic organ landscapes, offering moments of pure wonder. Amidst the spectacular and delicate nature, relish the breathtaking vistas, showcasing the grandeur and diversity of the landscapes in both Disko Island and Disko Bay.

Baffin Bay icebergs
Day 14

Exploring Baffin Bay

Sailing south from Disko Bay, we once again encounter the captivating Ice of Baffin Bay. This area is home to a number of whale species, which begin their migration up the coast of Greenland as the ice begins to recede.

le commandant charcot icebreaker from above
Day 15

Sailing South

As we sail south along the west coast of Greenland, spend time indulging in Le Commandement Charcot's outstanding facilities. Enjoy the view of the ice from the heated outdoor lagoon, and spend time in the indoor pool, relaxation areas or sauna. During your time at sea, our team of naturalists and scientists will undertake presentations in the ship's theatre and share their knowledge with you.

Nuuk capital of Greenland
Day 16

Nuuk

Upon arriving on the shores of Nuuk, the Norse chief Erik Le Rouge, seeking refuge in exile, discovered a fertile and hospitable land adorned with fjords. Accompanied by his compatriots, he settled in this promising region. For 500 years, the Norse were the predominant inhabitants until their population gradually dwindled, making way for the Inuit.

Nuuk is strategically positioned at the mouth of one of the world's largest fjord networks, where the waters maintain their fluidity even in freezing temperatures. The town gracefully extends towards the Davis Strait, boasting a historic centre rich in national heritage. The vibrant hues of red, blue, green, and yellow adorning the houses provide a lively contrast against Greenland's solemn waters, uplifting the locals' spirits, especially during the winter months.

Arrival: early morning

Disembarkation: 08:00

Activities

Activities

Dog Sledding

Dog Sledding in Greenland on an icebreaker cruise

Embark on a tradition dating back 6,000 years to our ancient past. Initially embraced by the Inuit around 1000 AD, sledge dogs became steadfast companions not only to the Inuit but also to trappers in the American Far North and intrepid explorers on their extraordinary journeys. Guided skillfully by their masters and your local guide, these dogs will lead you through enchanting landscapes on a mesmerising sleigh ride. Seizing weather and ice opportunities, you'll engage in this time-honoured mode of transportation, delving into exploring the ice floe. It's the perfect avenue to acquaint yourself with the ice sheet; all you'll hear is the gentle sound of the sledge's runners gliding over the ice, the dogs' paws on the snow, and the commands issued by the Inuit. Allow yourself to be entranced by the magic of the moment.*

*Optional activity with limited available spots. Please enquire with our Travel Experience Team at the time of booking.

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing activity

Where else could be more fitting for the pursuit of ice fishing than the frigid Arctic regions? With the guidance of our naturalist guides, you'll seek out the ideal location to carve a hole into the ice floe or frozen lakes, attempting to catch fish using an age-old method. Seizing the opportunities presented by weather and ice conditions, you'll engage in this unique activity, equally appealing to avid game fishing enthusiasts and those with a curiosity for new discoveries.*

 

*Optional activity with limited available spots. Please enquire with our Travel Experience Team at the time of booking.

Kayaking

Kayaking in Greenland PONANT

Discover the art of embracing the natural elements, where you'll seize every opportunity provided by the ever-changing weather and ice conditions to navigate the crystal-clear polar waters. Under the expert guidance of licensed professionals, you'll embark on a kayaking adventure, a craft cherished by the Inuit people for over four millennia. Initially designed for hunting and fishing, the kayak now becomes your gateway to immersing yourself in the unspoiled wonders of polar regions, whether it's the White Continent or the enchanting Far North.*

 

*Please note that limited spots are available for this experience.

Hiking or Snowshoeing

Hiking and snowshoeing on Le Commandant Charcot

Amid our shore landings, you'll have the chance to join our seasoned naturalist guides for hiking expeditions of varying difficulty levels based on the ecological resilience of the unique biome. These excursions may range from leisurely coastal strolls to extended treks lasting several hours, taking you to breathtaking viewpoints and historic sites. You'll seize the moment, adapting your journey to the prevailing weather and ice conditions. And when our itineraries permit, donning snowshoes* will transport you into the footsteps of early explorers, unlocking the uncharted corners that have remained largely untouched by mankind.

*Kindly be aware that there are limited spaces available for snowshoeing.

Polar Plunge

Polar Plunge activity PONANT

Prepare to be captivated by the unparalleled experience of plunging into frigid waters. Weather and ice conditions permitting, you'll have unique opportunities to partake in a polar plunge while clad only in your swimwear, right in the heart of the icy realm. The intense rush of emotions and the invigorating warmth that follows will leave you with unforgettable memories, reenergizing you for the journey ahead.*

*Please keep in mind that there are limited spots available for this daring adventure.

If you are interested in participating in these adventurous activities please enquire about availability at the time of reservation. All activities are subject to availability and weather conditions.

Your Ship

Your Ship

Le Commandant Charcot

Introducing the majestic Le Commandant Charcot, the world's first luxury icebreaker. Imagine exploring the seldom visited furthest reaches of the polar regions in comfort levels never seen before on an icebreaker. Her unique icebreaking PC2 Polar Class 2 Hull allows it to explore captivating destinations locked in by sea ice from the North Pole to the frozen seas of East Greenland and Antarctica, which are off-limits to standard expedition ships. The onboard experience is second to none, with fine dining, an outdoor heated lagoon and sumptuous ensuite cabins with verandas. With a team of onboard expedition experts, Le Commandant Charcot is perfect for adventurers and connoisseurs looking to explore the unexplored in safety and style.

Ship Highlights

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The World’s first Luxury Icebreaker Built For Polar Exploration

The ice-strengthened hull and powerful engines give Le Commandant Charcot an extraordinary ability to explore places where no other cruise ship has ventured before offering out-of-this-world itineraries. Equipped with a fleet of Zodiacs for excursions and kayaks, this is the ultimate expedition ship.
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Outstanding Onboard Experience & Fine Cuisine

From bathing in the heated outdoor blue lagoon to unwinding in the relaxation area complete with detox bar, indoor pool, and seating with large windows, Le Commandant Charcot is conceived around the guest experience at every level. Enjoy the finest gourmet food at the ship’s two restaurants.
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Small Group Size​

Le Commandant Charcot takes a maximum of 245 guests with only 200 on Antarctica voyages. The ship is spacious and never feels crowded. A small group size offers our guests the best experience on the ship, during Zodiac excursions and shore landings.
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World Class Expedition Teams and Leaders

What makes expeditions on Le Commandant Charcot truly pioneering is the team’s experience behind it. From captains to expedition leaders, naturalists, guides, scientists, and special guest speakers, there is a passion and wealth of experience that is shared with you every step of the way.
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Environmentally Responsible Expeditions

From cutting-edge hybrid electric engines powered by liquid natural gas to an outdoor pool heated with recycled thermal energy generated by the ship’s engine, the ship utilizes the latest technologies to be a leader in environmentally respectful cruising.
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Luxury Accommodation

Le Commandant Charcot offers luxury never seen before on an icebreaker. The tastefully designed cabins feature balconies and ensuites. For those looking for exceptional luxury, there is a choice of suites featuring private deck areas with jacuzzis, large living spaces, and dining areas.
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Dedicated to Scientific Discovery

Equipped with science laboratories, Le Commandant Charcot offers a platform to host scientists and researchers to gain valuable insights into understanding and protecting the most remote places on Earth with their knowledge shared with guests during presentations.

Do you need help planning your expedition?

Our friendly and knowledgeable Travel Experience Team is ready to assist you.

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